VOLUNTEER litter pickers, gardeners and maintenance workers are being sought to lend a hand at Mary Stevens Park.

The plea for more local families, groups and individuals to volunteer at the Norton park follows a successful multi-million-pound programme of Heritage Lottery Fund improvements in a bid to help keep the green space beautiful.

Other voluntary roles also available at the park include supporting the history project group, wildlife monitoring and collecting data.

The park’s gardening group, which meets outside the cafe every Friday at 11am, is recruiting new volunteers to help tend the vegetable garden and orchard.

People can help during the week and at weekends, as well as evenings during the summer, while litter pickers are urgently needed to help tidy up the park at weekends.

Matt Williams, chief officer for environmental services at Dudley Council, said: “Mary Stevens Park is treasured by people from across the borough and we are lucky to have the dedication of the Friends group and other voluntary groups to help keep it beautiful throughout the year.

"We would also encourage all park users to do their bit by using the bins provided to dispose of litter and cleaning up after their dogs.”

Park volunteer Jess Avery, aged 18, recently won an award for her volunteer work at the park.

She said: “I volunteered at Mary Stevens Park by monitoring the water quality at Heath Pool as part of my sixth form studies.

“The research experience has helped me to secure an offer for a university place and I also won the environment category at the Dudley Youth Awards because of it.”

For more information on voluntary opportunities at Mary Stevens Park, contact senior park ranger Deborah Merrick by calling 01384 815279, or emailing deborah.merrick@dudley.gov.uk